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Dared to eat ‘Slug’ by friends, Sam Ballard goes into coma and suffers full body paralysis

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Who would have thought that gulping down a small slug can put someone into a coma? It is a story of a young Rugby player named Sam who is paralysed since 2010 after he ate the Slug. He is not even in a condition to narrate the story even after eight years to the tragic incident.

His close friends reveal that it all started with a dare when all the friends were drinking in the backyard. Sam saw a slug crawling across the patio and asked his friends “Should I eat it”? One of the friends dared him to eat by saying, “Eat it, I dare you.”

His companion Jimmy Galvin revealed, “We were sitting, having somewhat of a Red Winethankfulness night, attempting to go about as adults and a slug came slithering over. “The discussion came up, ‘Should I eat it?’ Off Sam went. Blast. That is the means by which it happened.”

Sam swallowed the slug within a split of a second without giving a second thought. The incident, however, changed everyone’s life. According to his friends, Sam suffered unbearable pain in his legs over the next few days. When taken to the hospital, Sam was diagnosed with rat lungworm. The parasite is found in rodents, but snails and slugs can become infected when they eat rat faeces that carries the worm. The parasite can infect brain in some cases which happened in the young Rugby player’s case.

Soon after, Sam fell into a coma for 420 years and woke up to find that he has turned in to a quadriplegic. Now, he can not move his body, his brain is not able to control his body temperature and he requires a tube to eat food.

His mother, Katie Ballard said, “It’s devastated, changed his life forever, changed my life forever. It’s huge. The impact is huge.” Mrs. Ballard further revealed that the incident has hit the family hard financially. She revealed that she is in heavy debt, owing one nursing service AUD$42,000 (NZD$45,000). This is partly due to an error made in 2016 when the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) cut the Ballard family’s funding from an AUD$492,000 (NZD$522,000) package to an AUD$135,000 (NZD$143,000) package without warning.

“His family have lost him, you know. And all the great times they should have had with him,” said Mr Galvin. “We were just being mates. I have spoken with Katie about that and that’s the least of my worries, I only care about Sam and his family and what we do in this situation, what we are doing in the future. My feelings are irrelevant to be honest.

“Just take care of your mates. Before you jump off a roof into pool or daring your mate to eat something stupid. It can have the worse consequences not only on your mate and the rest of your friends, the rest of your life, just take care of each other.”

Moreover, as per Wiki, Slug is a common name for any apparently shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc. The word slug is also often used as part of the common name of any gastropod mollusc that has no shell, a very reduced shell, or only a small internal shell, particularly sea slugs and semislugs (this is in contrast to the common name snail, which applies to gastropods that have a coiled shell large enough that the animal can fully retract its soft parts into the shell).

The great majority of slug species are harmless to humans and to their interests, but a small number of species are serious pests of agriculture and horticulture. They can destroy foliage faster than plants can grow, thus killing even fairly large plants. They also feed on fruits and vegetables prior to harvest, making holes in the crop, which can make individual items unsuitable to sell for aesthetic reasons, and can make the crop more vulnerable to rot and disease.

In a few rare cases, humans have developed Angiostrongylus cantonensis-induced meningitis from eating raw slugs. Live slugs that are accidentally eaten with improperly cleaned vegetables (such as lettuce), or improperly cooked slugs (for use in recipes requiring larger slugs such as banana slugs), can act as a vector for a parasitic infection in humans.

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Sarah Levin

Sarah Levin

A news media professional with a strong experience in online journalism, content management, and social media. Sarah’s strength includes the sound knowledge of online media, detecting potential trend worthy subjects, discovering news and proficiency in packaging content for web and mobile.

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  • “Soon after, Sam fell into a coma for 420 years and woke up to find that he has turned in to a quadriplegic.”
    That doesn’t sound right…

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